Sailor Moon is a classic anime that inspired a lot of followers. It is seminal in forming modern “Magical Girl” tropes for the genre. Even in the West, the series influenced and inspired all kinds of pop-culture juggernauts, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to The Lunar Chronicles.
Still, even the most hardened fan has to admit that some aspects of the show are just plain goofy and, even if they are willing to forgive these flaws, admit that other shows probably couldn’t get away with doing the same.
Today, we’re are looking at the corniest, silliest aspects of the franchise… and just why they make fans love Sailor Moon all the more for it. And remember, spoilers abound.
10 All Those Puns
There are a lot of clever puns throughout the series. The symbol for Saturn (♄) resembles the letters “H” and “T” combined, which so happen to be the initials for Hotaru Tomoe. Another example is the symbol for Jupiter (♃) resembles the number “4.” The importance of this is Sailor Jupiter was the fourth Sailor Guardian to join the group.
When Minako operated as Sailor V, the “V” in her codename also doubles as the Roman numeral for “5.” And, of course, she was the fifth Sailor Guardian “discovered.” Although, if fans want to get technical, she became a Sailor Guardian before everyone else did. Remember, she fought by herself for a while before Sailor Moon awakened.
Sailor Mars’ symbol (♂) has a pointed tip like an arrow. Later on in the series, Sailor Mars develops a technique where she shoots a fiery arrow.
Basically, the puns are endless.
9 Minako’s Idol Dreams
Minako’s wish to become an idol seemed to come completely out of nowhere, especially in the anime. And while all the Guardians were each given a specific dream, even in the manga, they usually weren’t taken as seriously as Minako’s. After all, the anime never mentioned Sailor Pluto’s dream to be a fashion designer (or even her fear of cockroaches).
But even the most-hardened viewer would admit that finally getting to see Minako perform “Route Venus” during the last season was one of the most iconic parts of the anime.
8 The Sailor Fuku
When the show first aired in North America, it was probably lost on Western audiences just why these girls were called the “Sailor Scouts” (Or, as they’re called in Japan, Sailor Senshi/Soldiers; the official international translation is now “Sailor Guardians”). Here’s a hint: ever notice that Usagi’s school uniform looks suspiciously like her superhero costume? That’s the point! The whole premise of the show is that the “Scouts” save the day in (modified) school uniforms. This also explains why Tuxedo Mask’s whole shtick is wearing a tuxedo (even though he’s not actually wearing a tuxedo.)
School uniforms do seem like a random thing to base a franchise around, but it just works and gave us one of the most iconic character designs in anime history.
7 The Dead Keep Coming Back
In both the manga and anime, Sailor Pluto sacrifices her life to save the other Guardians, but the tragic consequences are just glossed over when she just randomly comes back to life for no explained reason. Time and time again, the Guardians sacrifice themselves to protect the world, only for some plot device to bring them back. At some point, fan would think the girls would get desensitized to seeing their friends die in front of them.
This still doesn’t stop their death scenes from being heartbreaking to fans nor does it make the happy endings where the Guardians reunite any less heartwarming.
6 The Obvious Plot-Twists
The start of the series focused heavily on Sailor Moon and the Guardians searching for the mysterious princess of the Moon who turned out to be Sailor Moon herself. And she also had the Silver Crystal all along. And she’s the future Queen of the Earth.
The point is, all adaptations of the Sailor Moon manga want fans to think Usagi isn’t the Moon Princess they’ve been looking for. The manga, Crystal, and the live-action series all used Sailor Venus as a red herring, but anyone with eyes could see through that sham. Who wouldn’t think Sailor Moon isn’t the Moon Princess?
5 All Those Evil Schemes
In the first two seasons, the villains’ evil schemes usually involved staging some event or business venture to lure in unsuspecting humans and steal their energy, or something to that effect. They tried a princess seminar, a cruise ship, a cake shop, an ice cream parlor, a makeup counter, a radio station, a pet shop, a theme park, a talent show, tennis lessons, a modeling competition, a skating contest… the list goes on. Practically any endeavor with a middle-class appeal that someone like Usagi would inevitably fall for.
At some point, fan would think even Ami would think it’s suspicious that the people going to that mysterious new tanning salon keep disappearing. But, at the end of the day, it was fun seeing what new ideas they came up with.
4 That ’90s Fashion
If fans ever forgot just what decade the show was from, just take a look at what the characters were wearing. Minako’s giant red bow, Rei’s pink overalls, and Mamoru’s purple pants are just scratching the surface. And that just the characters’ civilian clothes.
Then again, can we really fault a show, born in the ’90s, for having characters wear ’90s-inspired clothes? The truth is, a lot of the fashion in the show back then wouldn’t be that far-out in today’s culture that’s hungry for all things nostalgia.
3 The Transformation Scenes
One of the most parodied aspects of the Sailor Moon franchise is the classic transformation scenes. Some could argue it’s just the show saving money with stock footage and casual viewers wonder why the villains don’t attack during these scenes.
Some fans have done strenuous research, however, that suggests these transformations either occur instantly, or there’s some kind of mystical protection around the girls so no one can harm them during.
But, it’s just not Sailor Moon without the transformation scenes. When that familiar, unique music plays during the sequences, fans cannot help but sing along. And it just makes sense for Usagi to have the longest one since she’s the show’s namesake.
2 Tuxedo Mask
Tuxedo’s Mask’s overall usefulness, or lack thereof, has sort of become a meme. People tend to think Mamoru, or Tuxedo Mask, does the least, or he’s just a subversion of the damsel in distress. Meaning, the Guardians end up having to save him most of the time!
For anyone who’s seen the entirety of the ’90s anime, it’s not exactly true that Tuxedo Mask is useless. He swoops in at the right time whenever the Sailor Guardians are in a bind, and he distracts the enemy long enough so the girls can do their thing. But, yes, there are several occasions where the Sailor Guardians have had to save Tuxedo Mask.
1 A Hero Like Usagi
On paper, Usagi doesn’t sound like a great role model. She’s prone to whining and procrastinating, and she’s not a great student. Be that as it may, Usagi’s growth is something everyone should remember. She went from an irrational, immature 14-year-old girl to the queen of Crystal Tokyo.
The manga always showed enemies being defeated without much signs of forgiveness. Whereas in the anime, Sailor Moon showed signs of compassion, again and again. This is definitely something all people should take note of. Usagi, or Sailor Moon, shows the capacity of her love and caring, each and every time.
Sailor Moon is an iconic manga and anime that has a lot of things about it that would be corny if ever done by anyone or anything else.